A masked man approaches us with a mission to retrieve some treasure from a location two days west of Brighthaven along the coast, and escort it safely back, declaring that secrecy is essential. He introduces himself as Nigel, a poor farmer’s boy who is mute, although he can speak. The treasure he speaks of will be used to combat the Green Menace, one of the greatest threats to Brighthaven.

Our first day of travel is uneventful, and culminates in an evening of storytelling by the fire, as the great bard Grub tells the tale of ‘Orcarella’. On our second day, we encounter a cart of corn farmers wearing straw hats traveling in the opposite direction. We purchase a sack of corn to create a delicacy known as “popped corn”, and they warn us of a checkpoint up ahead, where people with weapons are searching through carts, checking for contraband items.

We approach the checkpoint, located between the ocean and a tall cliff, and Avia and her flying snake attempt to scout ahead to see the danger. They see a large party, who look like they may be pirates, including a captain and two wizards. With no other available route, we have no choice but to approach and are told that our weapons are contraband. Although Grub tries to ‘explain’ that we have simply been hired to escort Sarandiel, a famed alchemist, to a temple in another town, these pirates are suspicious and demand a display of alchemy before letting us pass. The display fails, and our only choices are to surrender our weapons - or to engage the group in combat.

Being brave and battle-ready adventurers, we of course choose combat. We charge in, and our ferocity and power make up for the fact that they outnumber us. After several of their members have fallen, one of their wizards surrounds the area in fog, and the rest of their party makes a hurried getaway. Cowards! I, mounted on my trusty horse Bradlielle, and Narash transformed into a mighty brown bear, chase after the runaways and manage to take down most of the rest, before the final two jump into the ocean to escape.

We journey onwards to a forest, where the pirate booty is buried underground in the center of a grove of standing stones. Unfortunately, another group of pirates have beaten us there, and are already digging up the chest when we arrive. Grub disguises himself as a woman in an attempt to distract these pirates with offers of company, but they instead turn their strange metal sticks on him, shooting pellets out of the ends towards him.

We all close in to join the fight, which is a bone shatteringly close match. At one point, three of my companions are fallen, but the final two of us do not waver, and pull through to a narrow victory. We revive our comrades and claim the pirate treasure for our own - although, the treasure is unknown, as the key to the chest remains in Brighthaven.

At this point, Nigel congratulates us on a successful mission and removes his mask to reveal the face of Galvin Bloodsworth. Or perhaps, Galvin Bloodsworth has been farmhand Nigel all along? The pirates may have been defeated, but this mystery remains.

DM

Jonathan

Party

Ava, Avia, Grub the Tiny, Narash, Sarandiel